By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor
A Fairfield Police officer has been arrested and charged with second degree burglary.
Ryan Mills, 31, was arrested Monday and charged with stealing narcotics from the Veterinary Clinic, P.C. in Fairfield. The charge is a Class C felony. Mills’s bond was set at $10,000, which he posted.
According to a news release from the Iowa Department of Public Safety which is investigating the case, the Veterinary Clinic began to suspect in November 2018 shortages of a schedule four narcotic from its inventory. The staff conducted an internal investigation, which culminated in a staff member observing a Fairfield Police Department officer (later identified as Mills) enter and leave the clinic before business hours.
The staff reported this information to Fairfield Police Chief David Thomas, who immediately contacted the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Major Crime Unit to conduct the investigation, due to the conflict of interest.
On Jan. 1, while on duty, Mills was observed entering the Veterinary Clinic. A short time later, Mills was interviewed and during a search of his personal property, evidence of the burglary was recovered.
The Fairfield Police Department immediately placed Mills on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.
The prosecution of the case was referred from the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office to the Washington County Attorney’s Office to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.
The investigation was conducted by the Division of Criminal Investigation, the Fairfield Police Department, the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office and the Washington County Attorney’s Office.
Mills’s court appearance date was scheduled for this morning.
Mills was hired as a Fairfield Police officer in August 2017, one of 30 candidates who applied for a position left open by officer Jay Zeizer’s retirement. Mills grew up in Washington and graduated from Washington High School. He lists Washington as his residence.
Mills served in the infantry of the Untied States Army after graduating from high school, then attended Kirkwood Community College and Mount Mercy University, both in Cedar Rapids.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.